Monthly Archives: November 2014

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It’s all about the turkey, no gravy – Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving, turkeyIf you thought you were going to see some picture of a nice juicy turkey then you are sadly mistaken.  Not because I won’t be having turkey today, I will.  But because it hasn’t come out of the oven yet.  You see, I’m writing this hours before we are even leaving to head to J’s family.  I am imagining the turkey that I will be eating later, and it’s good.  Real good.

I’m a simple kind of girl.  I like turkey with no gravy.  I think gravy ruins it.  Gravy ruins pretty much everything it touches – biscuits, turkey, and even chicken fried steak.  They are all ruined with the addition of gravy.  Some call un-American to not like gravy.  I call it normal.  It’s thick, dark in color, the texture is off and smothers the best part of any meal.  So today I will be sitting down enjoying some turkey and stuffing sans gravy.

I remember the first Thanksgiving J and I were together.  He had to work black Friday and wasn’t able to make it home.  I decided to stay with him and skip out on my family’s dinner.  I couldn’t let him be alone!  I went all Betty Crocker on him and worked so hard on creating a Thanksgiving feast for the two of us.  I bought a turkey, stuffing, made biscuits from scratch, had bacon-wrapped asparagus, and even made a chocolate chip cookie cake.  I spent hours in the kitchen working on dinner and in the end, we would have been better off going out to eat.  The turkey was dry because I didn’t wrap it right or baste it at all.  I had misread the directions for the biscuits and used 3x the amount of butter I was suppose to so they came out soggy.  I burnt the asparagus to a crisp.  The only two things that turned out was the boxed stuffing and the cookie cake.  Needless to say we didn’t keep any leftovers that year.

Although the food was a disaster, that Thanksgiving has been one of my favorites.  We were able to spend it together.  We laughed and laughed.  He calmed me down when I realized ALL the mistakes I had made and was on the verge of a panic attack.  I really got to see the sweet, sensitive and supportive side of J.

thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.  May you get the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy each other’s company.  May you not stress about what’s happening next week, but instead take a breather so you may have a relax, fun-filled long weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Week 2

Well it’s week 2 of my weight loss journey and I’m back, which means I haven’t given up.  I have to admit I was much more aware this week of what I was eating and how much I was moving around.  It was a hard week for me.  I was out of town this past weekend, I’m studying for a big exam coming up in a few weeks (whenever I’m stressed, all I want is chocolate!), and clients are bringing cookies to the office as a thank you.  Why cookies?!?! Why?!?!
weight loss, weightloss
This past weekend was my sister’s bachelorette party.  It was a blast.  I had so much fun walking around old St. Charles, staying in a B&B, drinking, and dancing.  I was very conscientious of the decisions I was making and tried hard to stick to a good path.  We went to dinner at Trailhead Brewery off Main in St. Charles – if you’re ever in the area, I would recommend checking this place out.  The food is good and the beer is even better.  I ordered a sandwich with a salad in place of the fries.  I have to admit that was kind of hard – you see, I love fries. L-O-V-E them!  I can never get enough of them and I usually order them on the side of everything I get.  So I was pretty proud of myself for asking for no fries.  Then… I got my order… there were fries on the plate and no salad.  Damn!  I asked the waiter for my salad and then avoided the fries.  I did good!  At the very end I had not touched one single fry then I got caught up in conversation reached down, grabbed one and took a bite.  I had half the fry gone before I realized what I did.  I sat the rest of it down and covered them with my napkin.  They weren’t even the good kind of fries – you know, the skinny ones that are a little crispy.  Sooo good! I didn’t even feel bad for not eating them.

I also didn’t drink a lot and when I did I tried to go to lower calorie drinks instead of Budweiser, which is usually my go-to.  I also switched to water pretty early on.  I don’t think anyone even noticed I had water in my cup!  Between the walking and all of the dancing we did, I felt pretty good about it.

I really need to get back into the habit of meal planning.  When I don’t plan ahead and know what we’re having for dinner then I’m more likely to want to go out to eat or pick up something on my way home.  At least when I’ve picked up something it’s been a big salad for me and then something else for J.  I like cooking at home.  I feel accomplished once dinner is done and we’re sitting back, enjoying a nice meal.

My first goal for this next week is to plan at least 4 meals.  With Thanksgiving tomorrow and us being out of town until Sunday afternoon, it’s going to be tough to do more than that.  My second goal is to not over eat over the holiday weekend.  I want to track what I eat using myfitnesspal and be aware of how much I am consuming.

Two goals – that’s it.  Let’s see how I do next Wednesday.  What are your goals for the Thanksgiving holiday besides watching the Christmas Day parade, which is a must?

What I’m Thankful For

thankful for
I saw the best sign at a local church this past week:

“You don’t need more to be thankful for, you just need to be thankful more.”

I think this statement is so true!  We always want more – more time to get work done, more money, more time with family and friends, more stuff.  But we shouldn’t look at it like that.  We should be thankful more for what we do have – family that supports us, a career that pays the bills and then some, friends that are there for us, a roof over our heads, a car to get us from point A to point B.

The one little sign really got me thinking of what I’m thankful for this year.

It’s important to be grateful for what you have, right now.  It’s easy to get caught up in the materialistic side of life.  But you have to ask yourself  in 5 years, 20 years or even after we’re long gone from this Earth, what will be important to you, your legacy and those you love.  I want to leave a mark on this world that truly represents me.  I’m a passionate, hard working, wife, daughter, sister, friend, that cares about others and puts their needs before my own.  I would go without food to make sure my dogs ate and are cared for.  I would drive miles and miles to help a friend in need with a moments notice.  I love the person I have become over the years.  I have found myself and know that I can achieve any goal I set my mind to.  I’m thankful for what my parents taught me, the love my husband shows me everyday and the excitement I receive from three little dogs when I walk through that door each night.  I’m lucky to have a job I love and work for my Dad.  I’m blessed to have a close-knit family that I call my cousins some of my closest friends.

I am loved, blessed, lucky, adore.  I cherish, delight in, and treasure those around me.

thankful

thankful Here is my thankful for list for this year.  I know I have forgotten some and know that I could go on forever with this list.

My husband, J
Our 3 dogs – Maggie, Tiny, and Bud
Being able to save Bud from that gas station parking lot that one afternoon
A career that I am undoubtedly passionate about
The ability to learn and develop my skills in the finance world
My parents who stand up for me
My in-laws and J’s family
My sister and her soon-to-be husband
My friends that are still with me after all these years and all the miles between us
A car that is paid in full for and still runs
A roof over my head and for the first time in years is actually a roof that covers a very nice home that we get to call ours for the next few years
My health
My drive to do more and be a better person

I really think I could go on and on with this list.  I really am a pretty lucky lady.

Weight loss Wednesday: Week 1

I’m going to start a new series over here on merelynne.com.  Something that we all may be struggling with, have struggled with, or know someone who is struggling with it.  It’s weight loss.

weight loss, weightloss

 

I’ve never had an eating disorder.  I’ve never exercised past the point of exhaustion.  Maybe I didn’t have the will power or maybe it’s because I’m too logical and I knew those approaches were not good for me, mentally.  I’m not sure what it is.  I was pretty fit in high school.  Sure I had a little chub to my stomach, my arms were always huge and I never liked my thighs, but I was still small.  In college I gained weight, but lost it towards the end of my graduate program.  I kept the weight off for a few years, but then came marriage and becoming settled in my adult life.  I’ve noticed over the past year that the weight as slowly crept back on and I’m struggling with getting it off.

I’m not talking about an unrealistic goal of me with a six-pack abs, a thigh gap and no love handles.  I’m talking about a healthier version of myself.  One that I’m proud of and walk around with confidence.  I’m tired of hiding myself in over-sized shirts and sweaters.  I’m tired of feeling guilty after every meal – even the meals that I know are clean and healthy.  I’m just tired.  I figured if I actually talk about my issues and share them with others then maybe I will give myself a chance to heal.

You know what I really want from all of this?  The chance to play with my puppies at the park without getting out of breath.  The ability, that when the day comes and I’m a mother, to spend time with my children on the floor playing or in the backyard running around.  I don’t want to be a lazy adult or tired parent.  I don’t have kids right now and we don’t plan on starting a family for a few more years, but I want to get ready now.  I don’t want to put this off until after I have a child.  I’m already the queen of excuses now I can imagine adding a baby to the mix.

I’m starting small.  Eating cleaner, less processed food.  Portion control will be key.  Exercising will be a huge component.  I joined Crossfit in my town about 2 months ago and I love it.  I feel accomplished and challenged each time I go.  Plus, I’ve met a few people and knowing someone there always helps encourage me to actually go.  However, I need to be more consistent.  I currently go about 2-3 times a week, but I don’t make it a priority when I’m tired or have to work later.  I need to change that.  It should be ranked higher on my to-do list.

I don’t have a set goal weight that I’d like to achieve.  I think I’ll know it when I get there.  I think there is too much emphasis being placed on a number on a scale and for me, I want my emphasis to be on how I feel.

I plan on sharing weekly updates about how I’m doing and how I’m feeling.  You see, I know that a lot people I don’t know reads this blog (which is amazing!), but I also know my family reads this too.  I think it’s important for me to show them how I’m feeling because I need support.  I have J and he supports me with everything I do, but I need more and I want more support.

So with all that being said I’m crossing my fingers, saying a prayer for guidance and sending this off to be published.